Friday, June 13, 2008

Our New Pet Gets Sick...

We have a new pet. It is a goldfish, but it is not gold (it's black.) It has big bulging eyes, so it has been named "Big Eye." This is the first fish in several decades of fish owning in my family that is not named "Fishy."

Unfortunately, within a few days of buying him, Big Eye began to move sluggishly. My wife noticed that he was covered in white spots. We told my son that Big Eye might not be with us for long. He began to wail. His little sister consoled him, "Don't worry! I'll fly to the pet store and steal another fish for you."

My wife Googled "goldfish diseases" and identified the fish as having something called Ich.

Fish get Ich when they are stressed. On telling this story, more than a few friends have laughed at the concept of a stressed fish. But, in fairness, being taken from home, transported great distances, and dropped into a completely different environment - where there are no other fish - is probably pretty stressful. The human equivalent would probably be an alien abduction.

Thankfully, there is a cure and I volunteered to make an emergency run to the pet store (there was an element of selfless heroism - but also I am listening to a terrific book on CD.)

The medicine cost $5, about $2 more than the fish - still saving a life is like saving a world.

The Ich medicine has some interesting warnings. First of course is not to eat it. I cannot imagine under what context I would be tempted to eat fish medicine (maybe if I were abducted by aliens who kept forgetting to feed me), but I guess from the Ich medicine manufacturer's perspective it is better to be safe than sorry.

But the bottle also advised that this medicine was not for use on baby whales (full grown whales presumably are ok.) When would this come up? Hopefully professionals at aquariums would have the necessary background to make this judgment without relying too heavily on the instructions on the $5 bottle of medicine.

How would non-aquarium workers even encounter a baby whale? Who keeps whales as pets - James Bond villains possibly? Does Dr. No send his minions to PetCo when his precious Orcas just don't show any appetite for the most recent capture?

The most likely scenario would be encountering a beached whale. But who takes fish medicine with them to the beach?

Regardless, Big Eye is not a baby whale (what a wacky underwater sitcom that would be) because the medicine has worked its wonders and he is no longer Ichy.


Anonymous said...

re: stressed fish...

Obviously your children are not obsessed with "Finding Nemo," else you would be quite familiar with stressed fish. Now, to be fair, Gurgle didn't suffer from ich, only a bit of OCD. ;-) --Jo

Father Goof said...

Finding Nemo was actually a source of stress for our family in its own right. See my review/warning -

Finding Problems with Nemo